Seldovia Public Library

A Volunteer Library serving the Seldovia, Alaska community since 1935

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Library board sets new overdue policy

Posted by Laura Haskins - Library Director on February 19, 2011

Your library has put in place several new policies this week, and we’d like to tell you about them.

For those who want to skip ahead to the bottom line, here’s the shortlist (the full explanation is after the break):

  • All accounts with items that are overdue by more than three months will be suspended until those items are returned or the replacement price paid;
  • Anyone checking out an item must actually have an account of their own; and
  • Middle and high school students will be limited to having just five items checked out at a time.


The library board, after considering the problems posed by items that are long overdue, has directed that all accounts with items that are overdue by more than three months will be suspended until those items are returned or the replacement price paid. What does this mean? It means that nothing more can be checked out to that account until what is owed is fully cleared. Once that happens, we’ll be happy to reactivate that account and it can be used again.

Pay for things! Yes. When you signed up for your account, you signed a statement that includes the following:

I…agree to obey all the rules and regulations of the library, to pay promptly all fines charged against me for the injury or loss of books…

The prices we set are the latest online prices, not to make a profit but to get those items back into circulation for all of the other folks who want a chance to take them out.

In order to make this new board policy fair to everyone, we’re also responding to complaints we’ve heard from our patrons by requiring that anyone checking out an item must actually have an account of their own. That means that we won’t be checking things out to a parent or sibling or other relative without their okay that this is “family” account. This even applies to spouses: we’ll be asking you in the weeks ahead whether you might want a spouse added to your account or would prefer they have their own account. We’re happy to make family accounts for those who want everyone’s checkouts easy to coordinate, but we’ll be needing to know that’s what you want. Our goal is to make your account work the way you want it to.

We’ve been talking with the kids who use the library, too. We’ve heard that they’re annoyed with kids who hog episodes of a series by checking out more books than they can read in the usual three week checkout time. To help increase availability of kids’ and teen books, then, we’re limiting our teen and middle school patrons to having no more than five items out at a time. This doesn’t mean a family account with multiple kids is held to that limit for the whole family and it doesn’t cover picture books; it just means that our younger readers will need to get their read items turned back in if they want to check more out. Our teen advisory group thinks that’s fair and we hope that you do too.

So in the weeks ahead, we’ll be asking you to update your account information as we sort through our accounts and tidy up our records. Will there be some confusion? We’re only human and we’re all volunteers so, yeah, probably. But we’ll do our best to sort through things so you can go on using the library as smoothly as possible.

And don’t forget–we’re now open five days a week on our new Monday-Saturday schedule! Pick up a copy of the new schedule on your next visit.

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